February 12, 2010

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

This was really good and I love how simple it was!  Looks a little…meh…doesn’t it?  It tastes much better than it looks though!  I’ve recently begun cooking with fresh beans.  Is that how they’re referred to?  Fresh?  Well, the kind in a bag that you soak overnight then cook is what I’ve been using to cut back on unnecessary sodium and it’s extremely simple.  Yes, obviously it takes more time but really worth it when I looked at how often I was using beans in all my recipes! 

I was disappointed to read the label of the chilies after I’d opened them to use in this recipe – 120 mg of sodium in that teeny tiny little can.  Well, maybe next time I’ll grab a few chilies in the produce department!  I did use both cans and the entire 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and yes, it was pretty kicky.  My kids ate all of it without any complaint, which makes me VERY happy because I want them to like spicy foods.  I don’t know why.  It just seems like something a kid should be able to eat without being a crybaby about it.

I used abouuuuuut 2 cans worth of beans – I just eyeballed it and you can too!

Source: My Kitchen Cafe

10 chicken tenders
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil 
(About 2 cans worth of) Cooked Great Northern beans - OR 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) rinsed and drained
14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

February 8, 2010

Thai Black Rice Salad

Thai Black Rice Salad
I love all the variety Kevin offers at Closet Cooking and this Thai salad is no exception!  Trying foods I never previously knew existed (who knew there were so many kinds of rice??) is exciting and fun and gives the kids something to complain about.  Honestly both girls ate and somewhat enjoyed this but Jet, who’s five, was displeased with the dish the minute it was put in front of him.  I had to coax  him to eat the entire meal…but he did eat it and though he won’t admit it, I think he did like it.  Sort of.

I thought it was a nice mix of chewy texture from the rice, a salty twist with the cashews (YUM!) and offered a sweet finish from the mango.  I think I’ll make this again in the summer … I’ll be adding more mint next time since I couldn’t taste it at all and I was most excited about that tiny green ingredient!

1 cup Thai black rice
1 red pepper, diced
3 mangos, peeled, stoned and diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup cashews

1 lime (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Cook the rice (2 cups water for 1 cup of rice – combine in saucepan, bring to boil, cover, simmer 45-50 minutes)
2. Mix the black rice, red pepper, mango, green onions, cilantro & mint in a large bowl.
3. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and zest, palm sugar and birds eye chili in a small bowl.
4. Toss the salad in the dressing.  Serve with cashews sprinkled over top.

February 5, 2010

Roast Pork & Canadian Bacon Sandwich

Roast Pork & Canadian Bacon Sandwiches
I love pork roast and also the fact that when I buy the roast I can always get at least two meals out of it.  Usually pulled pork sandwiches follow the roast meal but I wanted something different and these sandwiches found at Closet Cooking were just that.  Kind-a weird sounding but extremely simple and in case you aren’t in in the know, pickles make everything acceptable. 

The kids were mmmm’ing and ohmygosh’ing all over these sandwiches and that’s good enough for me!  Salty, spicy & filling it made a meal all by themselves, no veggies required.

buns (sliced in half)
leftover pork roast, sliced thin
Canadian bacon (I bought Oscar Meyer pre-cooked)
Swiss cheese, sliced
pickles, sliced (I used dill)
Dijon mustard

Spread Dijon over both slices of bun, then layer pork, bacon & Swiss cheese.  Broil open faced buns on low until heated through and the meat is warm under the cheese.  You may have to remove the naked buns from the oven before the ones with the meat & cheeses to keep them from burning.  Remove from broiler, add pickle slices & serve warm.

February 3, 2010

Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Shells
This is one of the first pictures I’ve taken all winter that didn’t require my flash.  It’s not a favorite but when I realized at 5:00 PM, when this dish was about to be put in the oven, that it was still light outside I just had to try and get a quick one in!  Found at Elly Says Opa! , this was a filling dish without feeling too heavy.  The kids gobbled it,The Man went for seconds & I called the leftovers for my lunch the next day!

6 oz. large pasta shells (about 20-22 shells)
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
half a medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. dried oregano 
1-2 Tablespoon fresh basil, minced 
6 oz. bag of spinach, cooked
1 egg, lightly beaten
15 oz. container ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese,
2 cups pasta sauce, jarred or homemade (thank you Prego)

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the shells according to package.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they have released most of their juices. Stir in the onions, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the moisture from the mushrooms has been evaporated and the onions are tender. Scoop into a large bowl. After it’s cooled slightly, add the thyme, oregano, basil, spinach, egg, ricotta and 1/3 cup of the parmesan. Mix to combine all the ingredients well.

Pour about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish.  Stuff each shell with 1-2 Tbsp. of the stuffing and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5-10 more until the cheese starts to brown.